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God meant it for good!

(34)

Sermon shared by Matthew Sickling

July 2006
Summary: This is a narrative sermon of the story of Joseph.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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working for Pharaoh, King of Egypt.

Approximately 13 years had passed since his brothers had sold him into slavery. Since that time, God had blessed everything that Joseph had done.

Just as God had revealed to Joseph, Egypt enjoyed Seven years of bountiful harvests, which were followed by Seven years of extreme Famine. The famine was so severe and widespread that it also affected the surrounding nations, including the Land of Canaan, where Josephís family lived.

In fact, it was so bad that his father Jacob, told his brothers, to go down to Egypt and buy some grain, so that they would be able to survive the famine. So with the exception of his younger brother Benjamin, all of Josephís brothers made the journey down to Egypt to purchase some grain for the family. When they arrived in Egypt they bowed down and presented themselves to the man who was overseeing the distribution of the grain. Of Course it was Joseph but they didnít recognize him, however, Joseph did recognize them.

Joseph must have remembered the dream he had told his brothers about some 20 years earlier, about how their stalks of wheat had bowed down to his. We arenít told how Joseph reacted to that memory, but we know what he didnít do. He didnít jump up and say, "I told you so." God had been good to Joseph, and had helped him overcome the anger, resentment and bitterness he had felt toward his brothers. He sold them the grain they came after, but didnít reveal his true identity to them at that time.

The second trip they made to Egypt to buy grain they brought their youngest brother Benjamin with them, because Joseph had warned them not to come back to Egypt without Him. You see he had accused them of being spies, and so in an attempt to convince him that they werenít they had told him about Benjamin. So he told them not to come back unless they brought Benjamin with them.

They again appeared before Joseph, and he once again provided them with the grain they needed. However Joseph told one of his men to hide a silver cup in Benjaminís saddle bag. Then after his brothers had left, Joseph sent some men after them and accused them of stealing the cup. When his men found the cup, they brought his brothers back before Joseph. After pretending that He was going to have Benjamin thrown into prison, and seeing how his brotherís reacted to that, Joseph couldnít take it any longer. He sent all of the Egyptians out of the room, and he was left alone with his brothers. He then told them that He was their brother Joseph, whom they had sold into slavery.


Can you imagine the fear and anxiety that his brotherís must have felt at that moment? They must have wondered what Joseph was going to do to get back at them for selling him into slavery? But over the years, God gave Joseph the strength to put the past behind him, and forgive his brothers. He told them to go back and to bring his father Jacob, back to Egypt with them. He wanted them to come live
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